Game Site: www.asgardheroes.com
Developer: Evolution Vault
Asgard Heroes is a space themed OSG that demonstrates how important UI is to a game by providing an example of what not to do. The game has decent gameplay and graphics, but it all gets lost in a very unfortunate UI Scheme.
The theme of the game seems to be derived from Stargate SG1. There are buildings called “Stargate”, “Asgard”, “Ancient Ship,” and “Temple of Ra”. Even the graphics pay the series an homage, combining Starcraft’s Terran style with a hint of ancient Egypt. Beyond that it seems to be a typical OSG. You have 5 resource types, Hydrophonic Food, Erythium, Argon, and Energy which you get from their respective resource fields (just like Travian), and you have “Blackwell Credits” which are gained through taxes.
Interestingly, you start the game with all the buildings already in place, but as “ruins” and instead of building them from scratch you “repair” them, and then upgrade as usual.
The game has two types of military units, ground troops and space shis, which is similar to Ikariam’s principle of army and navy.
Despite any interesting themes or concepts the game puts forward, its ultimate failure is in the UI. The UI is so messy it is difficult for players to figure out what’s going on, or even want to. Let’s take the resouces for example, and contrast with Travian.
In Travian, the button to take a player to the resource screen is very prominant, and one of 5 main buttons in the navigation bar. Once there, a player can easily see how much of each resource he is producing, and what the level of each resource field is.
In Asgard Heroes, however, the only way to get to the resource field is through four buildings in the main city screen. This is much more tedious for the player, and also wastes space on the city screen. Once in the resource screen there are FAR too many buildings or “fields”. A total of 24, which makes the screen very messy. Further, every single field looks the same. Granted, they aren’t identical, but they are all of the same color and architectural style.
In Travian it is easy to determine which resource field is which. Wood obviously comes from the forest, wheat comes from the wheat field, etc. They are also color coded with the icons for the resources. In Asgard Heroes however, I personally have no idea what an Argon Extractor would look like in real life, especially not how it might differ from an Erythium Mine.
Beyond resources, the overal UI scheme suffers from poor color choices and making important information difficult to read. Let’s take a look at the Statistics screen for example.
All the navigation buttons seem to be just text. As a user this is less than appealing. Further, they waste so much space by displaying “Athenry OliverGodfreed’s Outpost” when they could just put an icon of an Outpost and then display the name “Athenry”. I mean, obviously it’s my outpost, I couldn’t very well be looking at someone else’s.
Next look at the resource display. Tiny icons to indicate the resource type, none of which resonate with anything in the real world. Light gray text, right up against more dark gray text, all on a dark brown background. VERY HARD TO READ. They’ve actually devoted more screen space to the little hyrogliphic border than to my resources.
Then there’s an ad, right there in the middle of the game. You could put an ad on either side and I wouldn’t mind. I know these games need to get money from somewhere. But in the middle of the game? Down further we have the actual player stats. I know my eyesight isn’t great, but I should be able to read the player names without having to highlight them. Who puts gray text on a gray background?
Anyway, I think you get the point. Interestingly enough at the bottom of the city screen there’s some text that says “This is work in progress and does not reflect the quality of the final product!”. However, nowhere on their site is there a mention of this game being in Beta.
I would suggest any potential players wait until this game gets a much needed UI overhaul.